Screening: The Marines Who Never Returned CANCELLED

This screening is now cancelled as the KCC has closed, in common with many cultural venues, as a result of the health situation. The KCC’s first season of in-house screenings this year commemorates the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The Marines Who Never Returned Director: Lee Man-hee (1963, 110 mins) Cast: […]

Book review: Marilyn and Me

Ji-min Lee: Marilyn and Me Translated by Chi-young Kim HarperCollins / 4th Estate 2019, 176pp Originally published as 나와마릴린, 2009 “Where did all the beautiful and hopeful young women go?” That was the thought that occurred to author Ji-Min Lee, looking back at the grim post-war years, and looking at a couple of photographs from […]

Brief book review: Suni Samchon

Hyun Ki-young: Suni Samchon Translated by Lee Jung-hi Asia Publishers Bilingual Edition, 2012, 186pp Jeju Island, in Korean literature of the late 70s and 80s, is not the honeymoon destination of more recent years. It was a place of poverty, of bitter memories – a place to escape from rather than a destination to visit […]

SOAS seminar: Socialist competition and class formation in DPRK, 1953-56

A seminar at SOAS tomorrow, just announced. Looks interesting. Socialist competition and class formation in North Korea’s post-Korean War recovery, 1953-1956 Dr Owen Miller (SOAS) Friday 6 December 2019, 5:15 – 7:00 pm Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Alumni Lecture Theatre Register on SOAS website Abstract How did North Korea manage to recover […]

Film Review: Love, Lies (Park Heung-sik, 2016)

An historic album made by a hitherto unknown Korean popular music singer from the colonial period is literally unearthed in a modern-day construction site. Miraculously, although the LP is damaged, audio engineers can restore the sound to something like the original, for broadcast on a golden oldies radio show. But who is the singer, and […]

Screening: Returning, After Seventy Years

Wednesday 29 October 2019, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm SOAS | Russell Square | College Buildings Room: 4429 Register online here Synopsis In September 1950 the Daily Worker journalist Alan Winnington released his pamphlet “I Saw The Truth in Korea” which documented atrocities in Daejeon during the Korean War presided over by the South Korean […]

Book review: Blaine Harden – King of Spies

Blaine Harden: King of Spies – The dark reign of America’s spymaster in Korea Mantle, 2018, 272 pp The character of the maverick cop, or even maverick spy, delivering outstanding results through unorthodox means and despite a disregard for hierarchy, is a familiar one in crime and spy fiction. Blaine Harden, who worked with Shin […]

RIP Bill Speakman VC

The funeral was held this week for Bill Speakman, the so-called Beer Bottle VC. The ceremony was held on 19 July in the Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where Speakman was a pensioner. He died peacefully at the Hospital on 20 June 2018, aged 90, surrounded by members of his family. Obituaries can be […]

Film review: Yu Hyun-mok’s Descendants of Cain

I had looked forward to the first movie in the KCC’s Korean Novels on Screen series – Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s The Soil – and had been disappointed. Conversely, not being a particular fan of Yu Hyun-mok’s depressing movies, I was regarding the second in the series – his adaptation of Hwang Sun-won’s 1954 […]